Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Human Biology

Reader 1

Erin Jones

Reader 2

Sarah Gilman

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Rights Information

© 2023 Namlhun Jachung


Diabetes mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder, has far-reaching consequences on various organ systems, with the lower extremities being particularly susceptible to complications. This study delves into the profound effects of diabetes on the feet, specifically examining the interplay between diabetes-induced foot ulcers, and potential complications arising from coexisting eczema. Two distinct experiments were designed to investigate critical aspects of this complex relationship.

The first experiment aims to compare Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) levels among diabetic patients with and without eczema. The study involves a cohort of diabetic patients, stratified based on the presence or absence of eczema, and measured TEWL levels. Preliminary findings suggest an increase in TEWL is a characteristic of eczema; however, it is currently unknown whether TEWL can be used as a biomarker in regards to DFU healing.

The second experiment focused on the microbial landscape of foot ulcers in diabetic patients, exploring the prevalence of bacterial infections and assessing sensitivity to antibiotic resistance, particularly in the context of coexisting eczema. A cohort of diabetic patients with foot ulcers will be subdivided based on the presence or absence of eczema, and microbiological samples will be collected from the ulcer sites. Bacterial isolates were then subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing to delineate the resistance profiles. The results revealed distinctive microbial antibiotic resistance in ulcers with eczema, indicating a potential link between diabetic foot ulcers and microbial colonization. This project underscores the importance of tailored testing and treatment strategies for diabetic foot ulcers based on concurrent dermatological conditions.